sponsored by psychohistorian.org


Deep Sky Observer's Companion – the online database


Welcome, guest!

If you've already registered, please log in,

or register an observer profile for added functionality.


log in to manage your observing lists























Full database:

Entire DOCdb database of 18,816 objects.



NGC 4372 (9,408 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




finder chart

altitude today

altitude (year)


½°, , in DOCdb

show browsing

NGC 4372

NGC 4372, Cl Melotte 112, C 1223-724, GCl 19, Bennett 50, Caldwell 108, h 3390, GC 2927

RA: 12h 25m 45.43s
Dec: −72° 39′ 32.7″

Con: Musca
Ch: MSA:1013, U2:466, SA:25


(reference key)

Type: globular cluster

Mag: B=10.86, V=9.85

Size: 5′
PA: ?

Image gallery

Photos  (1)

Select a photo and click the button to view

Historical observations

Dunlop, James (1827)

This globular cluster may be No. 67 in James Dunlop's catalogue of 1827. Observing from Paramatta, New South Wales, he used a 9-inch f/12 telescope, describing it as "A star of the 6th magnitude, with a beautiful well-defined milky way proceeding from it south following; the ray is conical, and the star appears in the point of the cone, and the broad or south following extremity is circular, or rounded off. The ray is about 7' in length, and neary 2' in breadth at the broadest part, near the southern extremity. With the sweeping power this appears like a star with a very faint milky way south following, the ray gradually spreading in breadth from the star, and rounded off at the broader end. But with a higher power it is not a star with a ray, but a very faint nebula, and the star is not involved or connected with it: I should call it a very faint nebula of a long oval shape, the smaller end towards the star; this is easily resolvable into extremely minute points or stars, but I cannot discover the slightest indications of attraction or condensation towards any part of it. I certainly had not the least suspicion of this object being resolvable when I discovered it with the sweeping power, nor even when I examined it a second time; it is a beautiful object, of a uniform faint light."

John Herschel

Sir John Herschel observed it at the Cape of Good Hope with an 18-inch f/13 speculum telescope. He recorded it as "a globular cluster, very faint; large; very gradually brighter in the middle; 6' diameter; resolved into stars of 15th magnitude; rich in stars; a delicate and faint object; has a star 45 N.p., distance 5' from centre. Almost perfectly insulated in a very large space almost entirely devoid of stars, being the smaller and southern lacuna below the great 'coal sack'." On a second occassion, he recorded it as "cluster, class VI. Rich; faint; large; round; very gradually a little brighter in the middle; 8' to 10' diameter; stars discrete, 12, 13..16 mag; insulated; has a star 6th magnitude just out of it, N.p."

NGC/IC Dreyer (1888, 1895, 1908)

The NGC records it as "globular, pretty faint, large, round, stars of magnitude 12..16".

Published comments

Hinks, A.R. (1911)

Hinks, A. R. (1911) On the galactic distribution of gaseous nebulae and of star clusters. MNRAS, 71(8), 693-701.

List 6: "NGC numbers of clusters classed as globular, not in Bailey's catalogue"

Bailey, S.I. A catalogue of bright clusters and nebulae. Ann.Harv.Coll.Obs., 60(8), 199.

Melotte, P.J. (1915)

A catalogue of star clusters shown on Franklin-Adams chart plates. Mem.R.A.S., 60(5), 175-186.

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 9.0 mag globular cluster.

Photo index

Photo Index by Jim Lucyk: Sky&Tel. 10/86 p346, Sky Catal. 2000 (Vol 2, 1985) pxxiii.

Harris, W.E. (1997)

RA 12 25 45.4 (2000) Dec -72 39 33 Integrated V magnitude 7.24 Central surface brightness, V magnitudes per square arcsecond 20.51 Integrated spectral type F5 Central concentration, c = log(r_total/r_core); a 'c' denotes a core-collapsed cluster 1.30 Core radius in arcmin 1.75. ["Catalog Of Parameters For Milky Way Globular Clusters", compiled by William E. Harris, McMaster University. (Revised: May 15, 1997; from http://www.physics.mcmaster.ca/Globular.html; Harris, W.E. 1996, AJ, 112, 1487) ]

Shapley, H. (1930) "Star Clusters" Harvard Obs. Monographs No. 2

p 22: There are a few individual globular clusters, NGC 4372, NGC 6144 and NGC 6569 that are in or near recognized dark or luminous nebulae. Of these, the first appears to be dimmed by one of the long dark streamers from the Coal Sack; ..."

Modern observations

Bennett, Jack

Bennett observed it with a 5-inch short-focus refractor, including it in his list of cometary objects as number 50. His coded description describes it as an extended object, very faint, easily missed.

ASV Journal (1971)

Vol 24 No 3 June 1971: "faint and nebulous in 5-inch 64x."

Brian Skiff

br * 4'.85 NW.

15cm - big diffuse losfcbr job, res w/a few *s even @ 50x. 140x: m7 * on NW nr

edge. 12'-15' diam, cl defines mod broad concen across 6' core. 50 *s

res, m13+. cl is in genreal dk area. strong haze under res *s in core

@ 140x. BS, 23Feb1990, LCO.

Henshaw, Colin (1992)

(Maunatlala, Botswana), observing with 12x40 binoculars, writes in The Webb Society Nebulae and Clusters Section Report No. 10, July 1992: " . . . south preceding Gamma [the globular cluster NGC 4372]. The latter object seemed fan-shaped, spreading out from a sixth magnitude star North preceding."

Contemporary observations

Auke Slotegraaf


A two-inch refractor shows a hazy patch of light, extending towards a bright triangle of stars to its east. Although the Uranometria 2000.0 shows a star on the fringe of the globular, I see a definite gap between this star and the globular. Leading off to the south of the bright triangle mentioned earlier is a short arc of three small stars, as well as 2 fainter stars more south. Examining the globular for an estimate of size, the angular extent seems to be the same as that covered by the small arc of the stars.


In 11x80 binoculars this cluster is all but invisible; averted vision shows a faint nebulous haze east of a 7th mag star. The cluster contrasts well with the better known NGC 4833 some 3 degrees east.

1994 February 23

1994-02-23, 00:30, Jonkershoek, 11x80 tripod-mounted, strong moonlight. Can just be glimpsed faintly.

1997 March 24

1997-03-24, Monday. Jonkershoek. 11x80 tripod. Full Moon. Not found.

Magda Streicher

1997 April 05

Location: Campsite (23 16 South 29 26 East)

Sky conditions: 7 magnitude clear.

Instrument: Meade 8" (Super wide angle 18mm eyepiece)

Date: 1997 April 5

Very large faint roundish smudge of light, in a not so busy starfield. Faint star outliers with one bright yellow star to the edge of this globular cluster.

(no date)

8-inch f/10 SCT (EP: 1.25-inch 26mm SP 77x 41' fov; 1.25-inch 18mm SW 111x 36' fov)

Pretty faint, very large frosted, roundish smudge, scattered like stardust. With (111x), it hosted a mixed magnitude of stars, become gradually brighter to the middle. Slightly elongated east to west with faint outliers following the yellow Gamma Mucae, which is situated on the north, northwest edge.

Richard Ford

2015, April, 19th



Sky Conditions:The fainter parts of the Milky Way are barely visible.Haziness only visible on the horizon.Atmosphere stable with little interference.

Instrument:12-inch Dobsonian.

In this globular cluster the stars has a granular appearance meaning that some of the stars in NGC 4372 is somewhat being resolved.In overall this globular clusters stars are slightly concentrated towards each other as an extremely faint out of focus snowball.This globular cluster measures 11.2'x 8.6'.Chart No:246,NSOG,Vol.3.

2009 March 21


12-inch Dobsonian f5 (EP: 20mm UW, 7mm UW)

Conditions: The fainter parts of the Milky Way are barely visible. Haziness only visible on the horizon. Atmosphere stable with little interference. Limiting Magnitude: 4.9.

NGC 4372 is a bright globular cluster, oval in shape, with individual bright stars seen occassionally. It is difficult to observe. The cluster is well resolved into individual stars radiating loosely away from the centre. The bright stars in the cluster are well concentrated towards each other on the outskirts of this cluster. The nucleus measures 25' and the halo measures 16'. Around the outskirts of the cluster there are starless patches.

Favourite lists

Lacaille's catalogue

The Messier objects

Dunlop's catalogue

The Bennett objects

The Caldwell list

Named DSOs

Object search

First search phrase


Second search phrase

Type of object to include:

open cluster
globular cluster
planetary nebula
bright nebula
dark nebula
galaxy cluster
asterism & stars

The Bug Report

DOCdb is still in beta-release.

Known issues, feature requests, and updates on bug fixes, are here:

> Bug Report


Found a bug? Have a comment or suggestion to improve DOCdb? Please let us know!

> Contact us


DOCdb is a free online resource that exists to promote deep sky observing.

You could help by sharing your observations, writing an article, digitizing and proof-reading historical material, and more.

> Find out more

Everything on DOCdb.net is © 2004-2010 by Auke Slotegraaf, unless stated otherwise or if you can prove you have divine permission to use it. Before using material published here, please consult the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.5 License. Some material on DOCdb is copyright the individual authors. If in doubt, don't reproduce. And that goes for having children, too. Please note that the recommended browser for DOCdb is Firefox 3.x. You may also get good results with K-Meleon. Good luck if you're using IE. A successful experience with other browsers, including Opera and Safari, may vary.